Looking for advice on family issues

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Looking for advice on family issues

Post by Diver1273 » Thu Sep 17, 2020 2:26 am

Looking for some advice. My MS has been getting worse. My speech has now been affected by it. I have developed a stutter and I seem to no longer have complete control over my voice inflection.

I have spoken to my doctor about it and am in speech therapy. The therapist is not sure on how to help with my inflection, she has been great in helping me with my stutter.

This has caused some great problems with my wife and daughter. They both never know what mood I am in evidently because of my inability to control my inflection. This has become very frustrating and I am growing weary of constantly hurting their feelings when I speak.

We have tried to come up with things they can do or ask to combat this. Nothing seems to last and I feel like my changes are driving a wedge in our relationships. I know I am the same person I was when we married, I just don't seem to have the same control and I am at odds with how to fix this.

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Re: Looking for advice on family issues

Post by Scott1 » Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:13 pm

You have one of the more troublesome features of MS. It's not just how it affects you but it is confronting for others.
The primary speech disorder in MS is called Dysarthria. It’s a very broad term for neurologic movement disorders related to speech. Sometimes it is described as paroxysmal ataxic dysarthria.
In ordinary speech, five processes work together and overlap, so our delivery is smooth and rapid.
They are-
Respiration: How quickly we fill our lungs, followed by how we control exhalation for speech.
Phonation: How the airflow changes the pitch and volume of our voice.
Resonance: How the movement of our soft palate changes the quality of our voice.
Articulation: How well we coordinate the lips, tongue, jaw bone, and soft palate to create clear speech.
Prosody: How we use conversational speech to create emphasis and meaning.
When lesions create spasticity, weakness, slowness, or a lack of motor coordination in MS speech, any aspect of the volume, the clarity, the control over phrasing, and pitch can be affected.
Your family need to understand this. Maybe if they read this it will help.
A good speech therapist might be able to help.
There are several sorts of Dysarthria-
Spastic dysarthria comes from a pathway called the corticobulbar tracts. Damage here can make your voice sound harsh, affect the inflection in your speech, slow your rate of speech, create sucking and jaw jerk reflexes, and restrict how much your jaw moves. When there is excessive muscle tone, spasticity limits the motion of your jaw and reduces your speed of movement.
Ataxic Dysarthria affects the motor control centres in your cerebellum. When this part of your brain is affected, your ability to control movements of the tongue, lips, and jaw are changed. You might speak very loudly, have prolonged gaps between words, or draw out a sound longer than usual. If you have other motor lesions in your cerebellum your body's movements may be challenging to watch. The combination of altered speech and movement can be challenging for people who don't understand.
You can have a mixture of these two types.
I don't have your problem so any suggestion may be off the mark.(sorry)
Maybe show them this so they can give a name to your problem. I do think the speech therapist is a good idea but I have found with my problems that constantly practising the right movement, no matter how long it takes, is better than addressing it once a week at an appointment.
Perhaps reading out loud to yourself gives you a chance to analyse your own speech. There are also neurons that produce similar outcomes but are unrelated. e.g. Some people can smile and laugh involuntarily but can't smile properly for a camera. Perhaps singing or altering your breathing may produce a different outcome.
Good luck with this. I wish I could give you a clearer path to follow.

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Re: Looking for advice on family issues

Post by Diver1273 » Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:09 pm

Thank you for that information. I will look into it.

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